Absolute and Relative Poverty

Absolute poverty refers to a set standard which is the same in all countries and does not change over time. The concept of absolute poverty is that there are minimum standards below which no-one anywhere in the world should fall below. Relative poverty refers to falling behind most others in the community.  In relation to income, a person is absolutely poor if their income is less than the defined income poverty line in that country, while they are relatively poor if they belong to a bottom income group (for e.g. the poorest 20%).